Fossil Gen 5E smartwatch assessment: Just a bit too abnormal for its personal good

MSRP $250.00

“Fossil shrinks the scale and lowers the worth for the Gen 5E smartwatch, however finally ends up with one thing that is not fairly particular sufficient to excite.”


  • 42mm and 44mm case choices

  • Fashionable, assorted design

  • Straightforward to make use of fundamental health monitoring


  • Snapdragon 3100 processor is outdated

  • Put on OS’s notification help is unreliable

The Fossil Gen 5E is, at first look, a really fascinating smartwatch. It has an inexpensive worth, an awesome design, a smaller case than the Fossil Gen 5, and it covers many of the features informal exercisers will need. Nevertheless, what it would not do is really feel very new or particular, because of some questionable {hardware} choices and an absence of fascinating options outdoors of the design.

Does this have an effect on the joy? Does it wrestle to captivate and persuade you to place the watch on within the morning? Let’s go into some element concerning the Fossil Gen 5E’s good, and unhealthy factors.


Fossil is aware of what it is doing with watches, and the Gen 5E is additional proof of this. The black silicone strap on my assessment mannequin is excellent. It is extremely reminiscent in each its design and really feel to the silicone straps on my Seiko diver watches — pliable, comfy, and hard, and that is an excellent factor. It is matched to a 44mm black chrome steel case, which is similar measurement because the older Gen 5 watch however with out the 2 buttons flanking the crown. This provides it a neater look with out drastically compromising performance.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Whereas the watch seen right here has a 44mm case, you can even purchase the Gen 5E with a 42mm case, making it appropriate for smaller wrists. Purchase the smaller watch and it has an 18mm strap relatively than 22mm model on the bigger Gen 5E watch. As there are just a few smartwatches made completely for girls, selection like that is very welcome. Fossil’s vary of designs for the Gen 5E is assorted and well-considered, the construct high quality is great, and I actually just like the stealthy black model that does not go too far down the tried-and-tested minimalist route.

Fossil’s vary of designs for the Gen 5E is assorted and well-considered.

That is the place the excellent news ends, and issues that permit the Gen 5E down begin to seem. The watch’s bezel is easy, curved, and an assist to swiping throughout the display, however the display’s bezel is nearly obnoxiously massive. The Gen 5E’s display measures 1.19-inches so it is fairly small, and mixed with the large, black case, actually emphasizes the large, black display bezel. It jogs my memory of fitness-oriented smartwatches, relatively than one made by a prime watch designer.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

I have never missed the 2 further buttons on the watch case, however I do miss a rotating crown to make scrolling by way of Google’s Put on OS software program somewhat simpler and faster. The Gen 5E’s mounted crown is a button for opening the menu, returning to the watch face, and if it is held down, for opening Google Assistant too. The shortage of this function, and the big display bezel, makes the Gen 5E really feel fairly previous in comparison with many different smartwatches launched over the previous months.

Display and software program

The 1.19-inch display is nearly proper for a smartwatch. These screens aren’t for watching video, they’re for displaying at-a-glance data, and for this, it is completely usable. The 390 x 390-pixel decision offers the identical 328 pixel-per-inch density you discover on the bigger Gen 5 watch, so it is lots sharp sufficient, and pleasingly colourful too. There are dozens of Fossil watch faces to select from, and so they’re splendidly assorted.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

It is model 2.23 of Google’s Put on OS software program put in, however not the latest H-MR2 replace with numerous new options and potential efficiency enhancements. Nevertheless, current health and design updates are onboard, such because the new-look climate tile and the power to name Google Assistant with a protracted press of the crown. The watch additionally has Fossil’s most up-to-date new options, together with the Wellness app and the Prolonged Battery mode.

Put on OS nonetheless has shortcomings, and the Put on 3100 chip simply feels previous at occasions.

Fossil’s personal health monitoring system makes use of the Snapdragon 3100’s co-processor in an effort to avoid wasting battery life, however may be very fundamental. There are simply two exercise choices — indoor and outside — and also you get elapsed time, distance, and coronary heart charge information on the display. The Gen 5E would not have built-in GPS, so it is probably not for critical sportspeople anyway, however Google Match can be onboard do you have to need extra focused monitoring.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The Wellness app tracks every day exercise, sleep, and coronary heart charge, then reveals the info on one display, all with out placing an excessive amount of pressure on the battery. It is annoying you’ll be able to’t add Wellness as a Tile although, forcing you into the app itself. Once more, as with the health monitoring, it offers easy information relatively than something in-depth. I do not suppose it is a unhealthy factor. Not everybody desires to trace a 100-mile bike journey, and can welcome an extremely easy one-tap exercise monitoring function, and a readout with the three key stats.

The health monitoring is fundamental, however not everyone seems to be a critical athlete.

It is somewhat fragmented although. For instance, Wellness is a single display app, whereas health monitoring is a Tile. Then Google Match can be a Tile, whereas all Google Match’s numerous apps (Targets, Exercise, Coronary heart Price, and Breathe) are listed individually as apps, plus Fossil pre-installs Cardiogram, Nike Run Membership, and Spotify. It’s kind of messy and might result in confusion about which app to make use of and the place to search out it. Fossil’s exercise monitoring syncs to your Google Match profile, so there’s an incentive to make use of it and hopefully save battery on the similar time.

The Fossil Gen 5E is easy and quick, and aside from one side, has been nice to make use of. The one side is notifications. It is changing into a little bit of a joke promoting notification help on Put on OS as a result of the frequency with which they arrive is commonly laughable. On some days the Gen 5E alerted me to so few notifications, it was cheap to say it is not truly a function of the watch in any respect. It is maddeningly inconsistent, not a brand new downside, and never helped by the Gen 5E’s too-subtle vibration alerts which can be straightforward to overlook.

Battery and efficiency

The Fossil Gen 5E has the previous Qualcomm Snapdragon Put on 3100 processor inside, and never the newer Snapdragon Put on 4100 seen within the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional 3. It is paired with 1GB of RAM. Is it a catastrophe? Fortunately, and maybe surprisingly, it is not. It reacts rapidly to the touch, there’s virtually no slowdown throughout regular operation, and even power-intensive apps like Maps and Google Play are manageable. Nevertheless, it is not what you’d name spritely, and the Snapdragon Put on 4100 improves efficiency and battery life considerably, so even whether it is usable, there’s a far superior choice on the market and that is annoying.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The previous processor is a matter, and takes a considerable piece of the blame for the Gen 5E not feeling very updated. I do recognize the power to take calls on the watch, which works surprisingly effectively with its loud speaker, plus it has NFC for Google Pay. It is not missing in options, it is simply we have seen every thing earlier than many occasions. I really want one thing new from a Put on OS smartwatch at this stage, and the Gen 5E would not ship.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The battery life is totally primarily based in your use. Fossil’s quoted 24 hours use is about proper. When you flip it off in a single day and do not monitor any actions, then it will final two working days. With a full cost within the morning, common use, and monitoring a 30-minute exercise with Fossil’s personal app, it lasts a single day. It is not good, however in step with most Put on OS watches aside from the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional 3 and the Suunto 7.

Worth and availability

The Fossil Gen 5E smartwatch has an MSRP of $249, or 199 British kilos, however could be bought for much less from quite a lot of retailers. On the time of writing, the Fossil Gen 5E is on sale for $169 by way of a number of retailers and is nice worth at this worth, however inventory could also be arduous to search out.

Our take

The Fossil Gen 5E seems to be nice on my wrist, is for probably the most half is speedy and nice to make use of, and is cheaper and extra versatile in measurement and design than the common Gen 5 smartwatch. Nevertheless it is missing a objective, as it is not well-equipped sufficient to be a critical health tracker, and the {hardware} is previous, which hurts its desirability and total longevity. Its defining function is strong high quality for the cash, now that reductions have introduced it effectively below $200.

The Fossil Gen 5E is an effective smartwatch — Put on OS’s notification points apart — nevertheless it’s relatively abnormal, and there are inevitably extra smartwatches with the brand new Snapdragon Put on 4100 processor inside on the horizon, and it is price ready for them relatively than settling for this one .

Is there a greater various?

sure The Apple Watch Sequence 6 is one of the best smartwatch for iPhone house owners, so purchase a type of as an alternative when you’ve got an iPhone. When you personal an Android telephone, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is our advice.

Nevertheless, each these are costlier than the Fossil Gen 5E, so check out the Apple Watch SE as an alternative, or the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional 3. Each present superior performance and battery life to the Fossil Gen 5E.

How lengthy will it final?

The chrome steel case ought to be hardwearing, and the watch has a 30-meter water resistance score, so you will need to be fairly careless to destroy it. In any other case, longevity will come right down to software program help and degradation of the battery. Both approach, you will be nice for a minimum of two years. Nevertheless, at the moment the Snapdragon Put on 3100 can be positively historical.

Must you purchase it?

No. You are able to do higher with out spending way more.

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